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I note with interest the comments regarding cycling in London. As one of the hated truck drivers i would like to make some comments. If you see a truck my advice is stay away, keep back and under no circumstances, whether its indicating or not DO NOT go up the inside of it. Secondly if you wear headphones whilst riding so you can't hear whats going on around you, well your a moron.
The roads of London are not designed for the volume of traffic that uses them and while trucks and cycles continue to use the same space accidents are going to happen. And remember we as truck drivers don'twant to come into London we are supplying the needs of 8million people, food,water,coffee all is delivered by truck.

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arfa [747 posts] 2 years ago
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All good advice and in other words leave a margin for error. I don't think people have an issue with delivery drivers who tend to be career professional drivers. The problem in London is concentrated amongst the construction industry (tipper trucks/skips) and for them I'd say the speed limit is there for good reason, it is not a target, turn your bloody phone off and leave a significant margin for error. A five minute observation on Upper Thames street in the city will see all of these disregarded

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pjay [249 posts] 2 years ago
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Thank you for your helpful comments, which amount to 'f&£k off if you're on a bicycle, motor vehicles own the road'. I look forward to the day when large trucks are banned from Central London and smaller vehicles are used to make local deliveries just as much as you appear to.

I would suggest you spend a few days cycling in Central London and then come back with a more considered response. Until then, you are doing your colleagues no favours with your ignorant views.

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
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To be fair though, I do of agree with the notion that it's more prudent for cyclists to stay behind a truck at lights etc, rather than move up it's left side. When I was living in the City I found this confusing, why would cyclists put themselves in danger like that. I always sat behind and sometimes got a bit of abuse from other riders for doing so/getting in the way etc.

But then I do think that in some areas it's silly to have trucks of certain sizes going around at certain times, the proposals of shipment times being scheduled to off-peak hours might help with that.

I don't imagine every truck driver wakes up in the morning with the desire to injure anyone, just like every bike rider doesn't wake up in the morning expecting to be injured. We're all just people using the road, there are definitely things we can all do to make things better.  1

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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 2 years ago
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The crash statistics for trucks involved in the construction sector are shocking, as are those for skip delivery vehicles. This problem was first identified by the DfT over 20 years ago and it is rather sad that so little has been done to amend the problem. Those same construction trucks and skip delivery vehicles are also linked to a large number of crashes involving pedestrians and other motor vehicles. The way the companies in those sectors are run is, in many instances, a key factor.

It is worth noting that while large articulated trucks are amongst the most difficult of vehicles to drive on the road, they aren't involved in anything like the same numbers of crashes that also involve cyclists in the capital. There is a reason for this.

As Mooleur says, if you see a big truck, keep your distance. I have driven trucks (off road) and what the driver sees from the cab is restricted.

I've been cycling in London for decades now and things are nowhere near as bad as they were in the 80s. But there are a lot of numpties on bikes, fixies particularly, who ride without much in the way of common sense and some will ride up the inside of a large vehicle without a moment's thought. Why anyone would ride a bike on the road without any brakes is something I can't understand, but some do.

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userfriendly [562 posts] 2 years ago
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Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but opinions like Chris82's here do make me worry about the state of mind of some people. But since you, Chris82, actually took the time to register and are maybe even going to stick around to read the responses, I'm going to give you the benefit of doubt. Let's go through your points one by one.

Chris82 wrote:

As one of the hated truck drivers i would like to make some comments.

There are truck drivers. And there are hated truck drivers. The latter are a minority. They are hated for good reasons, namely because they think might is right and don't give a toss about other people, especially not cyclists. Surely you did not mean to say you're one of those. Surely you meant to say you're a truck driver. In which case I'm sure you'll be happy to know that this website has some members who are also truck drivers, who - seeing as they're also avid cyclists - will have a slightly more balanced view on the points you are raising. You may want to have a chat with them. Balanced as in they may agree with some and disagree with others.

Chris82 wrote:

If you see a truck my advice is stay away, keep back and under no circumstances, whether its indicating or not DO NOT go up the inside of it.

That is just common sense, and a majority of the cyclists I see (I commute in Edinburgh, I see a lot of them) do follow your advice. That being said, common sense is sadly not as ubiquitous as one would like - combine that with the fatally flawed "cycling infrastructure", i.e. the "bike lane" at the left, which sometimes leads to an ASL (which I'm sure you know what it is), and you will very likely see why some people who don't have a lot of cycling experience would be led to believe that they are actually supposed to go up the inside of your truck. It's your responsibility to watch out for them.

Chris82 wrote:

Secondly if you wear headphones whilst riding so you can't hear whats going on around you, well your a moron.

Do I understand you correctly that you would want to ban all deaf people from participating in traffic? Also, how does a truck that wasn't indicating left but then is turning left after all sound different from any other truck? Tell me, I'm curious.

Chris82 wrote:

The roads of London are not designed for the volume of traffic that uses them and while trucks and cycles continue to use the same space accidents are going to happen.

This almost left me speechless. Almost. The roads aren't designed for the traffic load but you think you can get away with driving as if they were, because "accidents are going to happen"? How does that even make sense to you?

Chris82 wrote:

And remember we as truck drivers don'twant to come into London we are supplying the needs of 8million people, food,water,coffee all is delivered by truck.

Oh yes, I'm quite sure that you think your job is absolutely critical to the survival of the human race. Well ... it's really not, there are a number of other ways of getting goods into large settlements, always have been and always will be. That being said, I reckon the most pragmatic approach would likely be a ban on lorries at rush hour.

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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Must say i agree with Chris82 comments, nothing wrong with that advice. In an ideal world, the two forms of traffic would be segregated, but this is not always possible in London.

But on the whole, i do think large articulated lorry's get the respect and distance they deserve. Its the smaller lorry's that don't seem to be afforded the same respect by cyclists, partially because they're not as long and sometimes too irresistible for cyclists to pop up the inside, which in my view compounds their danger by the fact they can be manoeuvrable and quick.

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ribena [179 posts] 2 years ago
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Whilst "staying away from lorries" and "not wearing headphones" are good advice, there are a number of accidents involving lorries where these played no part.

For instance..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Bowers_%28journalist%29
"Bowers was cycling to work at the News International building. 100 yards (91 m) from her workplace, on Dock Street, a 32 long tons (33 t) Lynch Haulage aggregate lorry pulled up behind her. The driver, Petre Beiu, was having a hands-free phone conversation at the time, and drove over her twice after forgetting to put the handbrake on."

One of the main complaints of the CTC is that such incredibly dangerous irresponsible acts are rarely punished. The drive in the above case was fined 2700 pounds.

The haulage industry also seems reluctant to fit devices that remove the enormous (and nowadays unnecessary) blind spots on lorries. If i drove my car with half the windscreen misted up or covered in snow i'd rightly be stopped by the police, but such bad visibility is accepted as normal for large lorries.

Instead, as with the comments above, cyclists are blamed for the accidents and told to "stay away". Hence lorries covered in stickers telling cyclists to stay back, and warning speakers announcing a vehicle is turning left.

Just take a look at their website.
http://www.rha.uk.net/information/advice_and_information/cyclist_informa...
http://www.rha.uk.net/docs/Evidence%20to%20London%20Assembly%20on%20cycl...

There is absolutely no recognition of the fact that the lorries can be responsible for the accidents, nor any recognition that the huge blind spots cause problems in cities.

When safety measures for lorries are discussed, they are brushed aside as not being cost effective. Instead the RHA asks why cycle helmets aren't more widely worn.

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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Just as its often suggested that lorry drivers should try cycling in London for a day, same could be said for cyclists giving lorry driving a go. I can imagine it being pretty tricky during rush hour.

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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ribena wrote:

There is absolutely no recognition of the fact that the lorries can be responsible for the accidents, nor any recognition that the huge blind spots cause problems in cities.

When safety measures for lorries are discussed, they are brushed aside as not being cost effective. Instead the RHA asks why cycle helmets aren't more widely worn.

I did see a cement mixer truck with a rear window magnifier lens stuck to its passenger side window yesterday. I was quite impressed with that cheap and easy fix.

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userfriendly [562 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:

Just as its often suggested that lorry drivers should try cycling in London for a day, same could be said for cyclists giving lorry driving a go. I can imagine it being pretty tricky during rush hour.

I'm sure it is tricky, but that's why they're professional drivers, they should be trained to be able to handle the additional 'trickiness'. Or they simply should not be on the road.

You can't take a bad situation as an excuse for refusing to do something about that same bad situation. I'm sorry, but the onus here is on the companies that use those vehicles and on the drivers driving them. Not on the cyclists, not even those few who are either confused by the cycle lanes or just lack the common sense to stay away from a lorry.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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Some typical victim blaming there, and self importance of some motorists shining right through. I suggest you f**k back off to the Daily Mail website.

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jacknorell [966 posts] 2 years ago
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I actually think the original poster is coming from the right place, despite some phrasing being a bit unpolished.

Staying the f*ck away from tipper trucks and similar is just common sense. We all know they're driven by the worst HGV drivers around, and are very often defective as well. It shouldn't need to be that way, but it is.

The whole headphones things is just stupid, while the noise-cancelling ones do limit sound transmission, we still have eyes and still hear as much as car or motorcycle drivers. It's a non-issue.

Yes, accidents will happen, I didn't read that as an acceptance of the status quo, just a statistical fact. There are ways to limit them though. And as mentioned by another commenter, artic drivers seem to do OK despite having a challenging job.

Let's address the ejits* who couldn't care less about our safety, and constructively engage people like the OP who seem to want to be safe and keep us safe.

* Just wish the Met would give a toss...

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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"Secondly if you listen to a radio, use a mobile phone whilst driving so you can't hear whats going on around you, well your a moron."

Take your rant and fuck off to the daily mail comments section like someone else has already said.

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bikebot [1916 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:

I did see a cement mixer truck with a rear window magnifier lens stuck to its passenger side window yesterday. I was quite impressed with that cheap and easy fix.

From memory, I think that may be one of the things TfL has been encouraging with the Crossrail contractors.

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bikebot [1916 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

As one of the hated truck drivers i would like to make some comments.

Nah, I bet you're one of the loveable ones who actually knows how to overtake a cyclist correctly.

By the same token, you're addressing the wrong audience. Just about everyone on this site will be an experienced and extremely safety conscious cyclist. The wallies who I'm sure must cause you a lot of frustration tend to cause as much (but less serious) annoyance to us as well.

BTW, water really shouldn't be delivered by truck, but the food and coffee is appreciated, as long as it's good coffee  3

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jollygoodvelo [1419 posts] 2 years ago
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I drove a van all of last weekend. Big blind spots. So whenever I pulled off or turned left, I made extra specially sure that no cyclist had inadvertently pulled somewhere they shouldn't have.

It's really not that hard.

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zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

and under no circumstances, whether its indicating or not DO NOT go up the inside of it.

The next time you go driving your truck anywhere in London, try having a look at the cycling infrastructure that currently exists and look where it directs cyclists to ride.

Quote:

Secondly if you wear headphones whilst riding so you can't hear whats going on around you, well your a moron.

So you think that deaf people riding bikes are morons?

Typical victim blaming, ill thought out, ignorant nonsense that does nothing to either further the dialogue, or contribute solutions.

I'll lay this down for you: Dont drive your HGV in London (or other major cities and towns).

A few simple reasons:

1. You have piss poor visibility to see whats going on around your vehicle.
2. You have poor manoeuvrability in Londons already small streets.
3. Your diesel engine runs inefficiently with Londons (and other cities) stop start traffic flow therefore creates vast amounts of pollution. Pollution that consists of PM2.5 which is incredibly damaging and gets deep into the lungs and body.
4. The majority of HGVs stopped fail inspection checks by the police. Either with the vehicle being unroadworthy, the driver being unlicensed or driving for too long without breaks or a combination of all three.

It is HGVs that are a danger to all road users, not the other way around.

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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I don't much like HGV'S either - they make me a little nervous when they overtake me when I'm on my bicycle, they're a tiresome and slow encumbrance when I'm in my car, and while they aren't much of a factor when I'm on my motorcycle I generally prefer to give them a wide berth. That said, how do you propose that shops stock their shelves or that factories receive their materials? One HGV carries the load of several vans.

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pants [238 posts] 2 years ago
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I do a 20 mie round trip commuting to central and back everyday, you'd be amazed the amount of cyclists who go the inside of cars who are clearly indicating left.

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sim1515 [141 posts] 2 years ago
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allez neg wrote:

I don't much like HGV'S either - they make me a little nervous when they overtake me when I'm on my bicycle, they're a tiresome and slow encumbrance when I'm in my car, and while they aren't much of a factor when I'm on my motorcycle I generally prefer to give them a wide berth. That said, how do you propose that shops stock their shelves or that factories receive their materials? One HGV carries the load of several vans.

The Parisians seemed to have figured something out, I believe they don't allow HGVs in rush hour, and it seems they didn't have any cyclist deaths in 2011 compared to 16 in London and I don't think they had any in 2012 either.

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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The cycling extremists are out in force again

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd say that the opinion of a lorry driver on a cycling forum is just as valid as the opinion of a cyclist on a lorry driving forum. It's good to hear the forthright views, and indeed frustrations, of other road users.

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userfriendly [562 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:

The cycling extremists are out in force again

Please enlighten me, my dear cycling moderate, which of the views expressed here do you consider extreme?

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Colin Peyresourde [1723 posts] 2 years ago
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I think the object responses work better than the 'fu@k offs' generally. It at least treats the person with a degree of respect rather than just dismissing them.

I can't say that the poster has eloquently and sympathetically posted this forum, but I can understand his frustration. In the same way that cyclist, men, women and any other 'grouping' get frustrated with being unfairly tarnished I am guessing there are a good few truck drivers feel traduced by the focus that is put on them when they see rampantly poor road craft from cyclists.

I'm not suggesting that anyone deserves to be killed by a lorry, but there are a lot of cyclists who would give me stress as a lorry driver. In fact I hate driving in London because there are so many cavalier road users.

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Argos74 [392 posts] 2 years ago
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Well, Chris82's certainly got a pair of brass ones, let's give him credit for that. And some cake to get him on board and get our feels without 7 tonnes of armour plated invulnerability around us. He feels like one of the more responsible, slightly scared lorry drivers who's trying to not not cause harm to anyone.

Unlike some of his slightly less reputable colleagues who see tonnage/hour as a competitive target like pros see wattage and bugger the consequences. There's lots of solutions for these - taking crap fleets off the road en masse, rush hour bans, better design. To those suggesting cyclists drive a lorry for a day, remind me again how many lorry drivers have been killed in collisions with cyclists.

On the cycling side of things, I see plenty of numptiness, including some from paid up lycra commuters who really should know better. The mad dash for the ASL box or an extra five yards up the inside of a bus down the double yellows makes no blooming sense to me. Might take two minutes off my journey, might take me off my bike for a whole lot longer. At junctions and lights - take and control the lane, control the visibility, control the space. Even if it's three spots back from the white line. I'll still get across the junction/lights in the first wave. The more I demand, take and control that lane space, the more space and respect I get from drivers, and the better I can respond to abject bampottery.

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Flying Scot [918 posts] 2 years ago
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That's the way it works, find and maintain a space where other road users can see you.

Moving along blind spots on a bike, or a motor vehicle is a mugs game.

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Jack Osbourne snr [436 posts] 2 years ago
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+1 to what Argos74 said... Particularly paragraph 3.

People are obsessed with being at the front rather than being in the most visible position... Which may actually be a vehicle or two back.

I see it every day in Glasgow and it worries me.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1198 posts] 2 years ago
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Personally I give large HGVs as wide a berth as I can manage. And,no, I wouldn't cycle up the left of them at junctions, they scare me!

However, what I find more annoying are the smaller trucks that come zooming up behind me, rattling and clanking as they bounce over the speed bumps, before passing me too close and too fast and sometimes cutting right in on me. Kind of hard to 'avoid' them when they come up behind you at speed.

Smaller trucks seem to be generally less well driven than large ones.

But my main problem with the larger ones is how often they appear to be 'lost', driving round corners that are clearly far too tight for them (so they go over the pavement), or parked on the pavements on narrow roads blocking both the road and the pavement. They ought to be restricted to certain routes where they can physically fit.

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jmaccelari [241 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks for the comment - a decent post.You are quite right. I have driven various heavy vehicles over the years, and with that experience I ensure that I keep well clear of the left hand side and blindspots on larger vehicles. I appreciate what they are capable of doing to me and ensure that I give them the space they require. If I stuff it up, they're going to hurt me a lot more than I am going to hurt them.

The headphones comment is spot on.

BTW, I am a 5 day-a-week commuter in London (plus a weekend wannabe road warrior) and I agree with people who state that cyclists are their own worst enemies. I see their stupid behaviour on a daily basis.

And I presume the tw@ts who are telling the HGVs to stay out of London will be the first to complain when the shelves become empty when they pop off to M&S for their lunchtime snack...

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Joelsim [1975 posts] 2 years ago
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I can understand what Chris is saying, ie be careful.

I see cyclists bombing along all the time, taking risks etc. One guy I used to work with used to have issues regularly with traffic and peds. I have issues once every 50 trips, but then again I always expect the worst and have my hands on the brakes all the time ready to stop if needs be.

There's sensible and there's stupid. And yes there are stupid idiots in cars and trucks. Equally there are stupid idiots on bikes and I see them every day.

That isn't to say that I ride at 5mph as I don't. My 9 mile commute from Tooting to Soho takes me less than 45 minutes including stopping at every single red light and taking several back roads.

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